What does the future hold? If you have a plan, you can conquer whatever comes your way.
Here’s a checklist to help you achieve all your sustainable waste management goals for the year.
(This post has been updated. It was originally published in 2021)
It is mandatory to provide waste management guidelines to tenants in buildings across much of the country at least once a year. This ensures that building staff and tenants understand how your waste program works. Plan some training sessions, distribute educational materials like handbooks, and ensure signage, which buildings are required by law to post on bins and at waste disposal stations, are clear. Need signage or training? Ask your Great Forest representative.
Review Your Data
Review data from waste audits completed last year to see how much waste your business is generating, landfilling and diverting. Are you on target or falling behind? Use the insight to compare year-over-year waste performance and set new goals. Great Forest clients can log into their metrics portal to access their data and get more details from the quarterly reports we provide. Having a baseline is necessary to understanding what is happening, so you can make and track improvements.
If you are a Great Forest client, you can also check your waste infrastructure scorecard as well. Your score tells you, at a glance, how you are performing, and what to do to optimize your waste management programs and stay in compliance with local laws. It answers questions such as how well-versed your staff and tenants are with your waste program, how effective your education and outreach efforts are, if you have any compliance issues (at the local and state levels), and how clear and consistent your labels/signage are.
Check Compliance – Download Our Guide
Are you in compliance with local laws? Or, are you exposing your business to costly fines? Regulations are often updated and new requirements added. So make sure you check the regulations that apply to your business at least once a year. The start of a new year is a good time to do this. Take note of the date at which enforcement starts, and give yourself enough time to get ready to be in compliance.
Keep in mind that requirements change depending on where your business is located. Even if all your offices or outlets are located in the same state, local laws may differ. Download our free sustainable waste management regulatory compliance guide to help you maintain compliance.
Remember, legal compliance is not simply a business necessity–it is a valuable tool that guides your business towards greater efficiency and recognition as a leader in sustainability.
Review Your Waste Hauling Contracts and Needs
Are your waste hauling needs being met? Do you need to rightsize bins to reduce the number of pickups? Are you in a position to ask for any price adjustments? Is the data you are getting from your haulers accurate? Take a little time at the start of the year to ask these questions and review your needs.
Focus On Your Waste Strategy
Focusing on sustainably reducing waste is one of the most effective ways to make an impact in the face of increasing waste costs and growing public concern over climate change, carbon footprint reporting, and other CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) goals. Businesses should:
- Conduct a waste audit at least once a year to understand what they are generating and diverting
- Calculate GHG from waste
- Implement a plan to move towards Zero Waste
- Inspire behavior change by helping their employees, tenants and customers develop good sustainable habits at home. With many continuing to work from home or on hybrid schedules, behavior change at home will translate to the work place.
Have a question? Speak to one of our Zero Waste-certified experts? We are here to help.